Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hunter and Fox-Philippa Ballantine

Hunter and Fox

Philippa Ballantine

PYR, Jun 26 2012, $17.95

ISBN 9781616146238

The Caisah massacred the Vaerli so long ago it has become almost a myth. However, the Caisah’s Hunter, Talyn knows better as she was once a proud member of the Vaerli before she sold her soul to the beast that murdered her people and still rules the world.

The Caisah’s mistress Kelanim fears Talyn’s influence on her lover so plots to destroy her “rival”. At the same time, Finn the teller of tales and Talyn meet. They are attracted to one another, which each realizes is unrealistic and dangerous. Meanwhile, Talyn’s lost brother Byre seeks a means to remove the curse on the Vaerli. Soon all will converge shaking the foundations throughout the Conhaero.

Although the theme of a ruthless vicious ruler and a small band of courageous opponents is an old fantasy theme, the constantly changing Conhaero landscape in which a mountain can become lake in an instant adds some freshness to an engaging storyline. Readers will have mixed feelings toward Talyn who regrets selling her soul to the devil in order to survive while Finn brings hope and secrets; and Caisah and Kelanim are stereotypical evil. Although much of the tale sets up the Ballantine mythos and realm, fans will enjoy this opening act while looking forward to future escapades in this shifting world.

Harriet Klausner

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